I’ve been busy cleaning up and assembling a lot of my Starks, but that doesn’t give much to show. One of the big hold ups has been the Chapter icon for the shoulder pad. I wanted to create it from Green Stuff, rather than hand paint something (that would look awful if I did it!), or use transfers, which don’t look great, and I’d have to either use existing ones, or print my own.
But I wanted something that I can create with my limited experience of GS, and that’s reproducible. This means I’ve been looking into casting my own moulds…
I got some Oyumaru modelling compound. It’s basically like a hard jelly that softens in hot water, which you can use to make a mould. Once cool/hardened you can then press GS into it, leave it to dry/harden, and you’ve got a copy of what you made the mould from.
In theory, it’s pretty easy –
1. Drop Oyumaru into a mug of almost boiling water, for about 3 mins
2. Take it out (it’s now soft) and wipe it dry
3. Press the item you want to make a copy of into it to create the mould
4. Leave for a few hours to harden. Once done, this is your mould
5. Remove the original item and press Green Stuff into the mould
6. Leave to harden. I’d usually leave GS overnight for this stage
7. Remove the GS from the mould and you’ve got a copy of the original item. Easy!
So, for my chapter icon I took a banner top from the Tactical marines box and used it pretty much as is – basically a skull with halo. I just trimmed the back first so it was flat. I also used one of the Thunder Hammers from the Vanguard Vets box to get the lightning bolt shape from it. This will be my 3rd Company insignia for the other shoulder pad.
This is the Oyumaru, before and after. The after has GS in it for the chapter icon.
And just as an example, this is one of the lightning bolts, straight out of the mould before it’s been trimmed. Picture quality isn’t great, because it’s so small, but you get the idea.
So now I’ve given it a whirl, I’ve created a few moulds of the same things. Given that GS needs at least 12 hours, possibly longer to dry, I don’t want to be doing them one at a time. So I’ve currently got 4 moulds for the chapter icon and 2 for the lightning bolt. But I’ll do a few more as well.
Below is a marine with both shoulder pads done. This guy will feature in another blog post soon(-ish), but you can see how the finished icons look. Just need to get some painted up now!
A few tips for using Oyumaru and Green Stuff like this – if it’s a flat item (for example, my chapter icons that will be going on shoulder pads), once you’ve pressed the item into the Oyumaru to make the mould, press some card or similar flat surface onto the back of it, to flatten the Oyumaru. This means, once you’re putting GS in later, you’ve got a good definition of where the back is. Also, apply small amounts of GS and build it up. I started by chucking too much in, which made the finished item too thick and too hard to trim and bend (it needed bending a little to fit the shoulder pads).
The great thing with the Oyumaru is that you can reuse it. Just heat it in water the same as before and you can make a new mould. This means you can play around with it and you’re not wasting anything. It also means it’s not a problem if the mould doesn’t work out right, just try again. It took me a few attempts before I got it how I wanted it. But now I’ve used it a few times, I might be more adventurous. I might even try to make a spare bolt pistol or chainsword. Would be good to know I can make one should I find myself one short!
All the Stark Crusader’s background fluff is written, so now it’s time for a little quiz! There’s a theme to the names of all my main characters (not including the veterans of the Triune). There’s a prize for the first person to figure out what that link is*. As a reminder, the link is between these names:
- Captain Lando Stratos
- Chaplain Merak Khamsin
- Apothecary Orsi Thalius
- Epistolary Librarian Idris Astura
- Codicer Librarian Ardea
- Lexicanium Librarian Augusta
And an added clue is the Starks’ home planet Phedra fits the link too.